Revisit moe.downs 11-15 Prior to the Festival’s Return to Snow Ridge

The third and final chapter in NYS Music’s three part series on moe.down revisits the 11th through 15th festivals. In 2010, the band moved the festival from the grounds of Turin, NY, where they spent the last decade, to a new location at Gelston Castle Estate in Mohawk, New York. For the next two years, moe.down would call this location home. 

moe.down XI

Line-up: moe. The Black Keys. Nas & Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley. Mike Gordon. Lotus. Grace Potter and The Nocturnals. Punch Brothers. Built to Spill. Tortoise. Ryan Montbleau Band. The Macpodz. The Brew. Monkey Wrench. Orgone. Turbine. Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds.

moe.down XI was the first time a multi-day festival had been held at the Gelston venue. Infrastructure had to be built to pump in water to the campgrounds and crude roads had to be roughly smoothed out to get attendees on site. This first year on the grounds also brought drizzles of rain throughout, as well as a chill, damp air that lingered each day, with touches of sun peaking through here and there.

The original line-up in 2010 featured Jakob Dylan, but he unfortunately had to back out and was replaced with Grace Potter and The Nocturnals for this year’s events. It’s not very often that artists on the original line-up have to back out, but this year’s schedule change kept the flow going. Who doesn’t love watching Grace Potter literally grace the stage with her beauty, Flying V guitar in hand, and breathy vocals melting into the microphone? Other noteworthy performances over the weekend included sets by Phish bassist Mike Gordon and his solo band, who’s set included Radiohead’s “15 step,” as well as The Brew blowing up the venue with an unexpected cover of Foreigner’s “Juke Box Hero.”

Host band moe. played on the main stage each day of the festival. The customary kids parade occurred on Saturday, with the stream of kids attending ending up on the main stage while moe. laid down some energetic jams. Each year, a mayor is chosen by the audience. The winner of the annual election of the mayor of moe.down went to Rage Lincoln and his reading of the Headysburg Address.

Notable sets included the evening Saturday set that opened with “Plane Crash” and then closed out the night, before encore, going back into “Plane Crash,” bringing the night’s performance to a smooth finish.  The last night of the festival, moe. busted out a twisty turny extended “Farmer Ben” that was crammed with nuggets of unexpected surprises. Hints and teases of Rush splashed about through the jam, including touches of “Spirit of Radio,” “Tom Sawyer,” and “Working Man.”

moe. fan, Mike Quinn, looked back at some of his most unforgettable moments from moe.down and this year in particular brought fond memories. “I’ve been lucky enough to witness some really amazing things at moe.down. I’ve seen friends get engaged (moe.down 11) and then two years later get married at the top of the hill (moe.down 13). I was with my friends when they felt their son in utero kick for the first time at moe.down (11).”

Check out a smoking “Recreational Chemistry” from 9/4/2010:

9/3/10 – Gelston Castle Estate – Mohawk, NY
Set 1: Zed Naught Z>(nh) Time Again>Waiting For The Punchline, Blue Jeans Pizza>(nh) Captain America>Puebla>George, Brent Black>Akimbo

Encore: Brent Black>Billy Goat

9/4/10 – Gelston Castle Estate – Mohawk, NY
Set 1: Skrunk>Lazarus>Spine Of A Dog*, New York City^, St. Augustine>32 Things

Encore: Y.O.Y.^^

Set 2: Plane Crash>Hector.’s Pillow>Bring You Down, Daydreaming, Paranoid Android#>Ricky Marten>Time Ed

Set 3: Seat Of My Pants>(nh) Bearsong>(nh) Runaway Overlude>(nh) Recreational Chemistry, Not Coming Down>Wormwood>Plane Crash

Encore: Faker

* w/ Powerhouse ending
^ moe.down Kids’ Tent Parade
^^ Dedicated to Monkey Wrench (who played on the Buzz Stage right afterwards)
# Last time played 7/20/07

9/5/10 – Gelston Castle Estate – Mohawk, NY
Set 1: Buster>Haze>Yodelittle>McBain, Cornflake Girl>(nh) Timmy Tucker

Set 2: Moth>Queen Of Everything, Four>Rebubula

Encore: Deep This Time, Tubing The River Styx>The Pit>Farmer Ben**>Moth

* Ben jam section: Ben>Spirit Of The Radio (Rush)>Ben>Tom Sawyer (Rush)>Ben>Working Man (Rush)>Powerhouse>Ben

moe.down XII

Line-up: moe. The Levon Helm Band (featuring special guest Bob Weir). Ween. TV On The Radio. Slightly Stoopid. Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers. Ozomatli. Railroad Earth. The New Mastersounds. Rubblebucket. Danger Muffin. The Ragbirds. Empire Sound. Band. Gary Clark, Jr.

This year’s three-day event called into question whether it may even go on. Hurricane Irene rolled through the area just a few days prior, shutting down the flooded thruway. Those concerns were dashed, however, as the thruway opened and the show went on.

Once again, the festival was held at Gelston Castle Estate in Mohawk, NY. One big draw was heavy hitter Bob Weir as special guest with The Levon Helm Band. Gary Clark, Jr., an up and coming artist at that time, was slated to perform, along with well seasoned bands, Ween and Slightly Stoopid. Railroad Earth also made an appearance, and will be returning to this year’s moe.down.

The weather did have it’s say on some of the schedule during the weekend. The Levon Helm Band was postponed for nearly an hour due to lightning in the area. Fans took shelter under tarps and tents until the storm subsided. When the band finally took to the stage, Bob Weir sat in for their moving set.

On Saturday, moe. performed back to back sets in the evening, with the encore featuring “Crab Eyes” played on iPads to honor the passing of Steve Jobs. Sunday’s moe. evening sets brought Bob Weir to the stage as he joined in on a jaw dropping triple punch during “The Other One>Smokestack Lightning>The Other One.” The winner of this year’s mayor of moe.down was announced before encore and went to both Bob Weir and Rob’s hair. “Spine of a Dog” and “Seat of My Pants” brought the festival to a close.

Check out the band performing “Crab Eyes” completely on iPads:

9/2/11 Gelston Castle Estate – Mohawk, NY
Set 1: Captain America, Down Boy>(nh) Skrunk>George, Where Does The Time Go?>Dr. Graffenberg, Deep This Time>32 Things

Encore: Plane Crash

9/3/11 Gelston Castle Estate – Mohawk, NY
Set I: Rise>(nh) St. Augustine, She Sends Me, Nebraska^, Puebla>(nh) Mar-Dema>Timmy Tucker, Hi & Lo>Moth

Set 2: Good Trip>Akimbo, Blue Jeans Pizza, Downward Facing Dog, Tubing the River Styx>The Pit, Haze@>Rebubula@

Set 3: meat.>Don’t Fuck With Flo>Yodelittle>Lazarus, Four>Buster

Encore: Crab Eyes**, Bearsong

* w/ moe.down Kid’s Tent Parade
@ w/ al. on ’74 double-neck Gibson
** w/ band playing on iPads

Artist rendering of the grounds for moe.down 11-12. Image not to scale

9/4/11 Gelston Castle Estate – Mohawk, NY
Set 1: Rainshine, Happy Hour Hero, Big World>Ricky Marten>The Other One*#>Smokestack Lightning*##>The Other One*#, Stuck Inside of Mobile (with the Memphis Blues Again)@*%, Feel Like A Stranger*%%

Set 2: Wind It Up, Faker>Billy Goat, Suck A Lemon, Paper Dragon>Recreational Chemistry

Encore: Mayor of moe.ville Election$, Spine of a Dog>Seat of My Pants

* w/ Bob Weir
@ w/ al. on mandolin
# LTP > 7/17/09
## FTP – Chester Burnett, a.k.a. Howlin’ Wolf cover
% FTP – Bob Dylan cover
%% FTP – Grateful Dead cover 
$ w/ Bob Weir (and rob.’s hair) elected mayor

moe.down XIII

Line-up: moe. Umphrey’s McGee. North Mississippi Allstars Duo. SOJA. Bright Light Social Hour. Timbre Coup. Aqueous. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. Galactic. The Wood Brothers. Marco Benevento. Kyle Hollingsworth. The Everyone Orchestra. Leroy Justice. JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound. Infantree.

This year’s moe.down was moved back to the original Turin, NY venue at Snow Ridge Ski Resort.  It was also moved up to an earlier date, this time in August. The move back to the original venue, as well as an earlier time slot made for a successful festival, and one of their best to date. Fans were ecstatic to be back on the old stomping grounds and, much to their delight, were able to experience two full sets of moe. each day. 2012 also brought much anticipated camping areas designated for families and sober attendees.

It just wouldn’t be a moe.down without some rain in the forecast. Occasional showers rolled in on Friday night, but the bands that took to the stage made sure to keep the energy going late into the night. Once again, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals performed, opening up the main stage on the first day. She later joined in with moe. during their cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter.”

Saturday’s second set by moe. in the evening turned spicy as Galactic joined the group on stage to bust out The Band’s “Up On Cripple Creek,” which was immediately followed by a hefty jam session by both. The double jamming session continued as they flowed into “How Many More Years” with both Vinnie Amico and Jim Loughlin on percussion.

One attendee, Chris Perrault, recalls the magic of this year’s festival overall. “Musically, I remember standing high up on the hill as the sun was setting, watching everyone groove. As the sun went down, everything became electric or illuminated. The stage. The hula hoops. The glow sticks. But mostly the dancers and the music just changed course from happy daytime music to crunchy ‘oh, you want to get down? Well, then let’s!’ It was fantastic!”

Sunday’s performances brought a heavy hitting set by Umphrey’s McGee, which included a sit-in by Stanley Jordan. moe.’s evening performance included Umphrey’s McGee joining in for a band switch during a double dose of Pink Floyd covers, performing “Time” and “Breathe.” This year’s mayor of moe.down went to Goldbond. A surprise second set delighted fans as fireworks blew up in the sky, with “Billy Goat>meat.” bringing the event to a close.

8/10/12 Snow Ridge Ski Area, Turin, NY
Set 1: Plane Crash@ >(nh) Not Coming Down@ > Wormwood > Okayalright, Gimme Shelter*#, Tubing The River Styx > The Pit > Puebla > Timmy Tucker, Letter Home^, Wind It Up

Set 2: Tailspin## > head., Happy Hour Hero**, McBain > Skrunk > Brent Black

Encore: Seat Of My Pants^^ >(nh) Akimbo

@ w/ al. on ’74 Gibson double-neck guitar
*w/ Grace Potter on vox
** w/ Kyle Hollingsworth on keys
^ ’97 / Reggae version
^^ SDB tease
# Last time played 3/06/08
## Last time played 1/31/11

8/11/12 Snow Ridge Ski Area, Turin, NY
Set 1: Crab Eyes>(nh) Down Boy>(nh) The Bones Of Lazarus, Blue Eyed Son@, Captain America>Waiting For The Punchline, Faker>Moth

Set 2: Paper Dragon>Dr. Graffenberg, Sticks and Stones, Zed Naught Z>Don’t Fuck With Flo>Zed Naught Z, Up On Cripple Creek*>moe. / Galactic Jam>How Many More Years**, George, Recreational Chemistry

@ w/ al on electric mandolin
* w/ Galactic
** Galactic w/ Vin & Jim on percussion

8/12/12 Snow Ridge Ski Area, Turin, NY
Set 1: Haze@, It>St. Augustine>Downward Facing Dog, Bring It Back Home*, Spine Of A Dog>Buster

Set 2: Bullet>Deep This Time, The Road>Kyle’s Song>Kids, Time^>moe. / Umphrey’s band-switch>Breathe

Encore: Rebubula

Encore 2: Billy Goat>meat.

@ w/ al on ’74 Gibson double-neck guitar
* w/ moe.down Kid’s Tent Parade
^ w/ Umphrey’s McGee
Mayor of moe.ville = Goldbond
Fireworks went off after Rebubula, and band played a 2nd encore as surprise to fans

moe.down XIV

Line-up: moe. Steve Kimock Band. Mike Dillon Band. Conehead Buddha. Pennyshine. Conspirator. Stanley Jordan Trio. Savoy. Floodwood. Dr. Dog. Del McCoury Band. Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe. RAQ. Eastbound Jesus. Wolf! The Stepkids.

This year’s event was once again held in Turin, NY. The crowd of attendees was much smaller, and more intimate, than usual. Friday’s musical set began on a stylish note, as the Del McCoury Band took to the stage. With perfectly coifed hair and stylish suits, these guys brought nothing but class and bluegrass to the stage. It was a refreshing musical change to the festival without a doubt. moe.’s Friday set included a tip of the hat to Jerry Garcia with a performance of “Casey Jones,” as the anniversary of his death was August 9. For the first time in recent years, the Friday night sky was crystal clear, without a hint of rain in sight.

Saturday’s events brought a lost wandering Beagle puppy to the attention of everyone.  moe. even made an announcement to try and find the owner.  Without any luck finding who the dog belonged to, she was eventually turned over to the local Humane Society, to which she was appropriately named “Moe.Na.” Speaking of moe., their evening set busted out a ridiculously energetic version of “Plane Crash” that included Shannon and Terry Lynch, of Conehead Buddhas, on horns. If that wasn’t enough to blow fans away, second set was basically one of the most insane sets they’ve ever played. Fierce compositions followed one after the other, filled with emotional jams that brought a wave of energy up and down as the melodies ebbed into each other. That set brought down the house, and had fans staring in disbelief at the amazing shreds the band was throwing out to the mountain side.

Sunday’s musical delights included the Mike Dillon Band, with Carly Meyers of ROAR! crushing a killer trombone as part of the ever rotating cast of musicians in this project. Stanley Jordan, famous for his two-handed tapping guitar style, had fans who’ve never seen him perform watch on in awe and dropped jaws. Speaking of Jordan, he joined moe. during encore with “Rebubula,” after the new mayor of moe.down went to the ditch. “Happy Hour Hero” closed out the year, followed by the annual fireworks display.

Watch moe.’s entire second set from 8/10/13:

8/9/13 Snow Ridge Ski Area, Turin, NY
Set 1 Big World>Ricky Marten>Bring You Down, Casey Jones, Blue Jeans Pizza>Silver Sun>Mexico

Set 2: St. Augustine>32 Things, Deal#, Time Ed>Water*>Brent Black%>Mar-DeMa>Time Ed

Encore: Spine Of A Dog**

# LTP > 12/02/12
* w/ Enter Sandman Jam
% unfinished
** w/ Powerhouse ending

8/10/13 Snow Ridge Ski Area, Turin, NY
Set 1: Skrunk>Timmy Tucker, Wind It Up, Godzilla*, Puebla>Tubing The River Styx>The Pit>Plane Crash**

Set 2: Smoke>Chromatic Nightmare>Smoke>Recreational Chemistry>Akimbo>Tubing The River Styx>Seat Of My Pants>meat.#>Brent Black^

Encore: Traveling Light##, Dr. Graffenberg

* w/ Chris Michetti on guitar
** w/ Shannon & Terry Lynch on horns
^ completes 8/09/13 version
# unfinished
## first time played- (cover – JJ Cale) – dedicated to JJ Cale and Mikey Houser

8/11/13 Snow Ridge Ski Area, Turin, NY
Set 1: Stranger Than Fiction, Suck A Lemon, Crackers, Bearsong*, Billy Goat > CalfironIA >(nh) Y.O.Y.>Buster**

Set 2: Queen Of Everything, Moth>Hi & Lo>Opium, Yodelittle%>meat.#, The Bones Of Lazarus>George

Encore: – Rebubula^, Happy Hour Hero^^

* w/ moe.down Kids Parade & Carly Meyers on trombone
** w/ Mike Dillon on percussion
% w/ Stanley Jordan on guitar
# completes 8/10/13 version
– Ditch voted in as mayor. of moe.ville
^ w/ Stanley Jordan on guitar & Kenwood Dennard switched out for a period of time with Vin, who played percussion with Jim, before switching back with Kenwood on drums
^^ Fireworks were shot afterwards

moe.down XV

Line-up: moe. Gogol Bordello, O.A.R., Lotus, Solve, Les Claypool’s Duo De Twang, Jerry Douglas Band, Everyone Orchestra, Twiddle, Floodwood, Aqueous, The Werks, Conehead Buddha, American Babies, Wild Adriatic

Since 2000, moe. has been hosting this festival for fans, friends and family. This year, the three day festival was especially welcome as the event returned to the original Labor Day weekend date at Snow Ridge in Turin, NY. Not having to go to work on Monday was a big factor for fans, as many did not want to miss the epic fireworks display after the band’s last song on Sunday. The rain held up for most of the weekend, keeping the grounds dry during the day.

Two bands making debut appearances this year included Twiddle and Wild Adriatic. Both bands are scheduled to appear this year for moe.down XVI. Conehead Buddha, Lotus, and Les Claypool’s Due De Twang gave powerhouse performance sets jam packed with high energy. Lotus took the place of The Rich Robinson Band, who were originally scheduled to perform. The most surprising act of the festival was from Gogol Bordello, an intensely high energy band whose music was a combination of bordello, punk and theatrics all rolled into one.

moe.’s Saturday evening performance included the members of Conehead Buddha horns joining the group on stage for the majority of the set. moe. put out the call to fans stating that if their Facebook page reached 100,000 likes, they would play a “Voter’s Choice” song during moe.down. They did not disappoint. They brought out the rare instrumental “Canned Pastries,” that had only been played five times previously, making it’s last appearance on the setlist on August 25, 1994. Before the encore of “Rebubula,” the mayor of moe.ville was announced.  This year finally went to Rex Thomson, who had been competing for the mayor for the past few years.

Check out the encore which wrapped up the last moe.down three years ago:

8/29/14 Snow Ridge Ski Area, Turin, NY
Set 1: meat.*>Dr. Graffenberg>Low, Same Old Story, Chromatic Nightmare, Don’t Fuck With Flo>Timmy Tucker, White Lightning Turpentine, Faker>meat.

Encore: Spine Of A Dog>Seat Of My Pants

* w/ Bullet Jam / false start

8/30/14 Snow Ridge Ski Area, Turin, NY
Set 1: Mar-DeMa>(nh) Captain America, Okayalright>(nh) Crab Eyes, This I Know, Billy Goat%, Skrunk>Blue Jeans Pizza>Waiting For The Punchline Reprise>Waiting For The Punchline, Downward Facing Dog

Set 2: Yodelittle>(nh) Bullet, Nebraska*, Spaz Medicine*, Happy Hour Hero*>Mexico*>Akimbo*>Tenth Avenue Freeze Out*

Set 3: Silver Sun, Threw It All Away*, Not Coming Down*>Wormwood*>Brittle End*, The Wizard*^, Spanish Moon*>Blond Hair And Blue Eyes*, Late In The Evening*, Plane Crash*

Encore: Jazz Wank>Hava Negilah>Long Island Girls Rule

% w/ moe.down Kid’s Tent Parade
* w/ Conehead Buddha horns: Shannon Lynch on saxaphone, Terry Lynch on trumpet, Shaun Bazylewicz on trombone
^ w/ Terry Lynch on vox

8/31/14 Snow Ridge Ski Area, Turin, NY
Set 1: Paper Dragon, Annihilation Blues, Do Or Die, Water>Hector’s Pillow>Four>32 Things, Canned Pastries#
Set 2: Big World>Rickey Marten>Time Ed>Moth, Puebla>Kyle’s Song

Encore: Rebubula

# last time played 8/25/94